University of
Oxford Homepage


Note. An asterisk against an entry in the Contents indicates a previously published notice.
University of Oxford Crest

Oxford University Gazette, 28 July 2005: Notices

SPEECHES BY THE PUBLIC ORATOR

THE PUBLIC ORATOR delivered the following speech in a Congregation held on Friday, 8 July 2005, in presenting for the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Civil Law

Dr Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister of India

Sunt qui artem populi sapienter regendi ac gubernandi condidicerint; non saepe eos invenies, inveniuntur tamen. Sunt qui rationem disciplinamque oeconomicam, rem tam tetricam tamque perplexam, bene comprehendant; sunt etiam qui, cum ad magnos honores pervenerint, fidem atque integritatem incorruptam tenere possint. Si quis has virtutes omnes coniungit, est sane vocandus

Rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cycno.

Hic autem quem hodie laudo prudentiam doctrinam pietatem maxime praebet. In Terra Quinque Fluminum natus atque educatus, ad Collegium Sancti Iohannis apud Cantabrigienses migravit, interque eos qui summis laudibus propter oeconomiae scientiam honestati sunt summum locum attigit; deinde ad Collegium de Nuffield apud nos pervenit, moxque ad gradum doctoris in philosophia admissus est. Paucos post annos librum de commerciis copiisque Indorum augendis scripsit, e Prelo nostro Clarendoniano exiturum; multos etiam commentarios de rebus oeconomicis calamo acutissimo exaravit. Haud scio an in nemoribus academiae semper spatiari voluisset, nisi officio erga patriam ex umbratili illa vita in pulverem, in clamorem, in castra atque in aciem forensem esset arcessitus. Magistratibus permultis consilium dedit; procurator communis omnium nationum fisci factus est; Indorum aerarium custodivit atque direxit. Illo tempore civitatem circumveniebant magnae difficultates: credebant multi, quamvis maiestatem et libertatem populi Indici admirarentur, rempublicam opes et imperium non facile consecuturam esse quae ingeniumque civium ubertasque terrae immensae polliceri viderentur. Hic tamen recte arbitratus negotiatores, si vincula legum parum utilium excutere possent, commercium magnopere aucturos esse, sic fundamenta prosperitatis iecit. Postremo, unum abhinc annum, iam rude donandus, Primus Minister est creatus. Ipse, vir modestissimus, dixit se conlegasque suos hactenus vix dimidium eorum effecisse quae fecisse vellent; ab aliis tamen laudatur quia ad pacem et amicitiam cum finitimis confirmandam sit fortiter nixus. Nobis quidem decori est tantum virum partem doctrinae suae hic didicisse; ipsumque speramus, sicut elephantus ille saxeus ad honorem Indiae super Viam Latam sculptus Oxoniensium discursus vultu quodam amico despiciat, hanc Universitatem animo benigno intueri.

Praesento investigatorem rerum oeconomicarum sollertissimum, gubernatorem populi sagacem, custodem ac defensorem patriae indefessum, Manmohan Singh, Reipublicae Indicae Primum Ministrum, Oxoniae alumnum, totius orbis terrarum civem, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Iure Civili.

Paraphrase

There are people who have learnt the art of governing with true statesmanship; they are not common, but they do exist. There are people who have mastered the difficult discipline of economics, the gloomy science, as it has been called; there are people who remain utterly incorruptible even when they get to the very top. Anyone who combines all these virtues surely deserves to be called, in Juvenal's words,

A rare bird, as common as a swan that's black.

But the honorand whom I present today exhibits wisdom, learning, and a sense of patriotic duty in the highest degree. Born in the Punjab, and an undergraduate at the University of the Punjab, he then went to St John's College, Cambridge, and achieved the best first of his year in the economics tripos. After that he moved here to Nuffield College, where he duly earned his D.Phil. A few years later he produced India's Export Trends and Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth , published by our own Clarendon Press; and he has also contributed many brilliant articles to journals of economics. One can imagine that he might have liked to continue strolling in the groves of academe indefinitely, had not his sense of duty to his country summoned him from the scholar's life in the shade—as Cicero puts it—to the dust and clamour of the political battle. Among his many positions he has acted as economic adviser to various ministers and official bodies, he served on the board of governors of the IMF, and was Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. His career developed at a time when his country faced large problems: although observers greatly admired the majesty of Indian democracy, a fair number of them wondered whether the country would succeed in achieving the prosperity and influence to which the talents of its people and its vast and bountiful territory would seem to entitle it. Our honorand, however, appreciated that if the economy were freed from the restrictions of superfluous regulation, strong growth was attainable, and he thus laid the foundations of prosperous development. Finally, a year ago, after a full life of public service, he was appointed Prime Minister. With characteristic modesty, he is said to have awarded his government six out of ten so far, but others have praised his brave and vigorous efforts to establish peaceful co-operation with India's neighbours. We for our part are proud that so distinguished a man acquired some of his expertise here, and we hope that he regards us with affection, like the stone elephant on the former Indian Institute at the end of the Broad, which looks down upon the bustle of Oxford with a friendly expression.

I present a brilliant economist, a sagacious statesman, and an indefatigable champion and defender of his people, Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, an Oxonian and a citizen of the world, to be admitted to the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law.


THE PUBLIC ORATOR delivered the following speech in a Congregation held on Saturday, 16 July 2005, in presenting for the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

Composer and Conductor

Quomodo virum tam artificiosum laudem, tam versatilem? Nescio enim utrum eum Orphea potius vocem an Protea. Hic autem adest qui carmina symphonias fabulas scaenicas concentus paucorum fidicinum exaravit. Musa eius modo consonantiam omnino fugit, modo cantus monachorum mediaevalium subsecuta est. Hic modo numeros composuit tam facile repetendos ut eos in balneo cantes, modo musicam confragosam ac multiplicem edidit. Quidquid delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi; quidquid deliravit rex Georgius Tertius, hoc in materiam carminis, tetrici mehercle sed praevalidi, transfiguravit. Mancuniae natus, multos iam per annos insulas Orcadas mavult incolere. Pastor ille Vergilianus Britannos dicit penitus toto orbe esse divisos; Orcades insulae etiam a Britannia separantur; hic tamen festo musicae celeberrimo instituto non solum Sancto Magno magnum honorem tribuit sed ultimam Thulen in mediam Europam attulit. Fortasse eum putes qui solitudinem et vastitatem septentrionalem petiverit alterum esse Timonem genusque humanum parum diligere. Quo quid falsius? Animo humano ac generoso praeditus, ardet eam voluptatem quae in musica inveniatur communicare; quapropter modos composuit quos et pueruli canere possunt. Duodecim abhinc annos Collegio de Balliolo opus lepidum ac facetum scripsit, cui titulus Corpus Christi cum fele ac mure; ibi ut archimagirus peritus versus sacros griphis proverbiis praeceptis de cibo parando in saturam bene salsam miscuit. Nuperrime autem librum septem carminum exaravit, cui Via Accipitris inscribitur. Primus hoc opus cecinit Chorus Pro Musica Oxoniensis, iterum in hac urbe mense Iunio egit Chorus Bachianus Oxoniensis, cuius ego ipse pars parva sum. Hic bene intelligit, mihi crede, quid queant cantores, dociles quidem sed non doctissimi, quid nequeant. In praesenti maius opus movet: cum Ariadnae Naxi relictae Bacchus, ut apud Catullum legimus, tympana cornua tibiarum stridorem attulerit, nervorum musicam Naxo hic quem laudo excogitat.

Praesento Orphea reducem, scriptorem operum musicorum fecundum daedalum ingeniosum, Petrum Maxwell Davies, Equitem Auratum, Symphoniacorum Reginae Magistrum, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Musica.

Paraphrase

How should I best praise so masterly and diverse a composer? I am unsure whether I should call him an Orpheus or a Proteus. Here is a man who has written songs, symphonies, operas and chamber works. His Muse has sometimes shunned tonality, sometimes echoed the sounds of medieval plainsong. He has sometimes composed tunes catchy enough for one to sing in the bath, but his music can also be jagged and complex. 'The madness of their kings brings the Achaeans hurt,' says Horace; the madness of King George III has been transformed by our honorand into a difficult but powerful song-cycle. Born in Salford, he has chosen for many years to live on the Orkney Islands. The shepherd in Virgil says that the Britons are utterly separated from the whole world; Orkney is separated even from the mainland of Britain; but our honorand has established in the St Magnus Festival a musical event of such importance that he has not only honoured the martyr from whom it is named but has brought 'ultima Thule' to the heart of Europe. You might suppose that a man who has sought out the bare solitudes of the far north would be a second Timon, with no great affection for the human race. Nothing could be farther from the truth. His liberal and generous spirit is passionate to share the delight that is to be had from music, and he has accordingly written pieces which even children can perform. Twelve years ago he wrote a finely crafted work for Balliol College, entitled Corpus Christi, with cat and mouse; in this like a top chef he mixed a carol with riddles, proverbs and recipes to make a well salted stew. One of his most recent pieces is The Kestrel Road, a cycle of seven songs. The very first choir to sing it was the Oxford Pro Musica; and in June it received its second performance in this city from the Oxford Bach Choir, to whose rank and file I myself belong. I can assure you that our honorand has a nice sense of the capacities and the limits of a keen but amateur choir. He is now busy with a larger project: when Ariadne was abandoned on Naxos, Bacchus brought her, as we read in Catullus, tambourines, brass and the squeal of flutes; but our own honorand's offering to Naxos is a sequence of string quartets.

I present the Orpheus of our time, a prolific, creative and brilliant composer, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen's Music, to be admitted to the honorary degree of Doctor of Music.

Return to Contents of this section


APPOINTMENT

Reconferment of the title of Visiting Professor

On the recommendation of the Department of Politics and International Relations, the Social Sciences Board has conferred the title of Visiting Professor in Politics and International Relations on HENRY SHUE (AB Davidson, MA, PH.D. Princeton), for a further period of two years until 31 July 2007.

Return to Contents of this section